National Football Team Match in Split
2020 Finalist

National Football Team Match in Split

Hanza Media Ltd.

Zagreb, Croatia

Category Public Relations and Community Service

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

The main campaing objectives were:

1.To change the extremely negative mood in football fan circles and a large number of domestic media towards Croatian Football Federation (HNS) and National Football Team in the positive atmosphere before and after the match

2. Avoid the possibility of any incident and re-punishment of the National Team before, during and after the match

3.Smart eliminates any possibility of individual journalistic provocation text during the project 

4.The enormous risk of perceiving Slobodna Dalmacija - 70 years long identification institution in Dalmatia and Split - in the context of a hostile and serving tool of HNS and any political option

5. Watch out for the interests of football club Hajduk, at the moment “in the open war” with CFF, but same time long term partner of Slobodna Dalmacija, also one of the symbols of Dalmatia and Split

6. Eliminate fear of spilling regional clash beyond the football context into the political fight between the “south” and “north” in the election year 

7.Finally connect Split and HNS and finish the war

This was achieved through positive reviews of all mathces played by the Croatian national team, interviews with famous Bronze 1998 generation from Split and footbal club Hajduk, interviews with Hajduk players, coaches legends, national team captains and other important people from the sports world and industry. The strategy used was to present partnership with HNS as strictly professional and based on financial interests. It was important to sensitize the public through successful examples of local sports heroes and target social groups that prioritize above football fan groups; parents, children, ordinary citizens

Results for this campaign

The match passed without any slightest incident. The vast majority of fans, largely informed through the Slobodna Dalmacija PR campaign, have put extreme fan groups in a subordinate position. In fact, it created such a community atmosphere on a stadium where any, even the smallest attempt of riot, would prompt a counter-reaction. In addition, the cheerleading was like never before at national team matches, and all participants (players, coach, staff members) publicly appealed after the game that they wanted to play in Split whenever possible. Most important, despite public threats, numerous hate messages on social networks and in public, and much depreciation of team captain Luka Modric on a personal level, he was still welcomed and greeted at the stadium just as it fits with the world's best football player at the moment. This was a great confirmation of a successful campaign that emphasized from the beginning that the national team and Croatia's reputation in international relations are far above the club competitions.


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